24 October 2016Trademarks

Intel countersues McAfee over ‘McAfee’ trademark

Technology company Intel has responded to a lawsuit brought by the creator of the McAfee antivirus software and has argued that he infringes its trademarks.

On September 5, WIPR reported that John McAfee had brought a trademark non-infringement lawsuit against Intel.

He filed the lawsuit on Friday, September 2, at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. McAfee sued Intel over the right to use his name, claiming that it doesn’t infringe Intel’s trademark rights in the McAfee name.

In 2010, Intel acquired the McAfee company. It renamed its security products Intel Security in 2014.

Intel acquired a trademark registration for the term ‘McAfee’ at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in February 1994, through its subsidiary McAfee.

The mark covers utility and anti-virus computer programs.

Intel also owns a trademark for the term ‘McAfee Security’, which was registered at the USPTO in June 2004.

John McAfee joined technology firm MGT in May this year as chairman and CEO. Plans were also announced to change the firm’s name to John McAfee Global Technologies.

In the latest suit, which was filed on Thursday, October 20 at the Southern District of New York, Intel filed its amended answer to the complaint and asserted counterclaims.

Intel argued that McAfee and MGT have diluted its trademarks, infringed its common law trademarks and have violated competition law through unauthorised use of its trademarks without the company’s permission.

Intel argued that the use of the term ‘McAfee’ in a business name and trademark used in connection with anti-spyware solutions “will infringe on and dilute Intel’s famous McAfee trademark”.

The technology company added that by using the ‘McAfee’ mark within their trade name and trademark, McAfee and MGT “will likely cause confusion that Intel is the source or sponsor of plaintiffs’ products or services, or that there is an association between Intel and its ‘McAfee’ mark and plaintiffs”.

Intel added that it “does not object to plaintiff John McAfee’s use of his personal name or personal reputation in connection with his business ventures. However, Intel objects to plaintiffs’ use of their new ‘McAfee’ trade name and trademark” which are used to create “confusion” among consumers.

The company is seeking judgment stopping McAfee from using Intel’s trademarks in connection with cyber-security products, as well trial by jury, actual damages, pre- and post- judgment interest, attorneys’ fees and punitive damages.

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More on this story

5 September 2016   The creator of the McAfee antivirus computer software, John McAfee, has brought a trademark non-infringement lawsuit against technology company Intel.
16 December 2016   The creator of the McAfee antivirus computer software, John McAfee, has requested an injunction against Intel.